Just Plain Good

Neat Tracks / Making Friendz “Situation”

By Amanda DK

Artist: Making Friendz
Origin: New York
Label: Last Bummer Records
Latest Release: Social Life (June 2011)

Those who follow this blog have probably noticed it’s more earthy, rootsy folk leanings.  I won’t lie, when going through submissions, I generally look for words like “ambient,” “electronic,” “beats,” “experimental,” so I can then delete those posts.  Occasionally, however, something will reach in from outside my comfort zone and give me a good shake.
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Neat Tracks / Feist “Undiscovered First”

By Amanda DK

It’s no secret that Feist’s Metals is a solid album. The fifth release by the Canadian songstress received glowing reviews when it was first released in October. Rolling Stone named it as one of their picks for best albums of 2011. While her vocals are as lyrical and lovely as ever, the album has a vast, rustic quality, as though it captured a bit of the energy of Big Sur, California, where it was recorded. None of the tracks are as saccharine and catchy as “1234,” instead Metals reveals a more experimental, powerful side of the artist. Even mystical.

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Neat Tracks / J. Irvin Dally “Salt Water”

By Amanda DK

Photo Credit: Austin Conroy and Eric Weiner

Jordan Irvin Dally is going to have a big year.  It’s about time.  In April of 2010 the 22-year-old Los Angeleno garnered reverential buzz for his self-released Despistado EP, a collection of experimental folk songs, soaked with the kind of soulful wanderlust that must have been left over from his upbringing in Illinois, Colorado and Spain.  This year again the blogosphere took notice when he released Sun Room / Teething as a vinyl 7” and digitally on his bandcamp page, a lighter turn for the artist, with a brighter, island sway to his music rather than the sparseness of Despistado.
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Neat Tracks / Other Lives “Dust Bowl III”

By Amanda DK

A current trend in film and television music, and one that I’m continuously excited to watch develop, is artists scoring, or collaborating with established composers on, projects.  Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross on The Social Network and The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo.  Hans Zimmer teaming up with Rodrigo y Gabriela on Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides. Daft Punk scoring TRON: Legacy.

What does this have to do with the much-lauded TBD recording artists, Other Lives?  If there was ever a remake of the film version of The Grapes of Wrath, I would love to see that band score it.  At the very least contribute a few songs.

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Tadpole Audio’s 45 Favorite Songs of 2011

By Amanda DK

‘Tis that time of year again.  When it begins to snow on the east coast, turns to sweater weather on the west coast and music lovers far and wide begin posting their lists of the best 50 or 100 songs of 2011.  First of all, I only got to 45 this year and second of all I don’t feel comfortable claiming these songs to be the “best.” “Best” is a strong word.  In no particular order, below you will find just some of the songs that moved me personally this year. Moved me to dance, sing, cry, stomp, flail, fist pump, clap, smile, jump, shout, hum, or sometimes all of the above.  I can only hope you love them half as much as I do; maybe even get turned on to an artist you’ve never considered before.  Enjoy!

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